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  • Rick83 - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    I see you mention the NIC on the last page (might have been better placed on the first page, where you list the components), so the hardware is there.

    Is BIOS support there as well?
    Haven't seen anything from the BIOS so far, and AMT is heavily dependant on entire-system support.

    Did you actually get a KVMoIP session to work?

    While this particular model is not that interesting to me, I am looking generally into systems with AMT support, so getting to know the functionality that each vendor provides is quite interesting.
    Reply
  • jhh - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    I suspect a slower RAM was selected to work in a fanless device, but if you had an IR camera, it would have been nice to confirm device temperatures. The case top probably adds to the case heat-sink capacity, so removing the top could cause problems with the processor and its heat-pipe to the case, which would make it difficult to take such a picture. Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    That doesn't seem likely. There's not much in the way of chassis ventilation and the heatpipes connect directly to those side heatsinks. If anything temperatures should drop with the cover removed as less heat can be trapped inside of the chassis, although in a temperature controlled testing environment with zero airflow it might not really matter. Reply
  • Googer - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    Cooling isn't necessary DDR3 1600 as most ram chips generate very little heat. Modern day DIMM salesmen add heatspreaders and heatsinks, mostly as a marketing ploy. Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    I have recently built a very similarly spec HTPC (using the HDplex case rather than what I guess is a streamcom/wesean case) so it was nice to see a comparison. Price is a lot more reasonable than my build.

    i7-3770T works extremely well as an HTPC (shame about screen refresh rate - Intel should hang their heads in shame)

    Personally I would not use a mechanical hard disc, I hate noise and for an HTPC, an SSD is fine.

    The problem as I see it for an HTPC is that if no optical drive or TV tuner why bother with something this complex, probably easier and cheaper to store all the media on a NAS and have a very cheap streaming device as the HTPC.

    After saying that, none of the fanless cases I have looked at that support an optical drive give any thought to noise dampening the drive.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Looking at the internal layout, I can easily see why the hard drives get hot: one is mounted directly over the CPU. I wonder how just a single hard drive mounted over the memory performs with regards to temperatures and throttling.

    It also looks like the Wi-fi chip is replaceable so that single band disadvantage can be rectified.

    My only other complaint would be the 19V external power supply. It would have been nicer to see a 12V external PSU or even an internal PSU to avoid a power brick entirely. Minor quibble in the grand scheme of things.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    The as-configured price seems to be at least $500 overpriced. This thing has a BOM somewhere around $900ish at *RETAIL* pricing (I made a list), $1500 for the machine is ridiculous. Reply
  • mrdude - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Poor WiFi that only offers single-band
    No card reader
    No Bluetooth

    Aaaaand somehow this is supposed to be an HTPC? viable small form factor PC? At that price? say what?

    These people must be kidding themselves.
    Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    No, this is designed to be used in an industrial environment. I have no idea why Ganesh tested it as an HTPC. Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    I would assume that it's being tested as a HTPC device because it looks like a decent contender on paper.

    Also, keep in mind that you can just buy your own Streacom case and build your own machine. They have models with card readers, disc drive access, etc.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    The only thing that makes it an "industrial PC" is that it's fanless. But there's no real difference from just taking any off-the-shelf fanless mini ITX case and slapping the "industrial" label on it. Adding a word to the name doesn't justify the massive markup.

    This isn't an Apple product, they can't justify that kind of premium.
    Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    What fanless off-the-shelf mITX chassis includes VESA mounts and this small of a form factor? You can't buy this chassis from Streacom, and I certainly don't know of any other cases in this form factor that handle this level of hardware.

    This is most definitely a premium on industrial products. It might only be because it's a niche product that not a lot of people may require (relative to typical desktops, laptops, and other typical end-user devices) but it's more than justifiable. This is not for the average consumer.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    A bit of quick googling turned up Asaka's Euler, which does exactly this (IvyBridge Q77) at up to 35w. I really doubt there isn't any similar case that doesn't take that up to 45w, considering the Euler is much smaller than the Relia reviewed here, and as such simply has less surface area for cooling.

    Regardless, what you seem to be saying is that the slightly custom chassis is the only reason this device can justify a price 50%+ higher than already inflated retail pricing?
    Reply
  • hobbesmaster - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    I deploy stuff to industrial environments, this thing isn't even IP54 let alone IP 65 or 67 so its not exactly useful for me at least. Reply
  • twtech - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    This product is not intended for HTPC use. I believe it was tested the way for the sake of having some reference point in performance analysis, because Anandtech is not a site specialized to industrial uses.

    Maybe you have never been in an industrial environment and so you don't know what that means. They tend to be very dusty. Active cooling will draw that dust into the system and it will collect there very quickly. Even if you have good fan filtering, that just means the filters will get clogged up very quickly.

    That's why they went with passive cooling here and a more rugged chassis. That's also why it costs more.
    Reply
  • mrdude - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Ah, my mistake.

    The review doesn't state its purpose until the final page, and even then that doesn't really explain why it's utilizing the weak WiFi and lack of Bluetooth, allowing the device to be neatly tucked away with a peripheral M+KB and display away from the unit.

    I still don't get why they've gutted it of some features. If you don't need WiFi, then there's really no point in offering it. If you do then why opt with such a weak card?
    Reply
  • QChronoD - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    It says right in the title that its an Industrial Fanless PC. And I really doubt that if the was really going to be installed in some factory or what-not, that the company would be very enthusiastic about using all wireless peripherals. That's just a complication that they don't want to have to worry about (dead batteries/unpaired devices). Chances are they would be more than willing to run an ethernet cable to the location if there isn't already one.

    Personally, if I was buying this for a company, I'd option it with the lowest CPU, just the SSD, and not even bother with wireless. It sounds like the faster CPUs can't even run full speed for more than a few minutes. I would love to see Anandtech swap out the CPU for a much cooler i3 and run both configurations with a long test in the temperature chamber. If the i3 can run cool enough to not throttle, it could end up being faster than the i7.
    Reply
  • FATCamaro - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Why buy this joke of a system over a mac mini Reply
  • A5 - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Completely different market. Did you read any of the other comments? Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    The chassis is custom made. There is a premium for fanless systems Reply
  • jcm722 - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Unlike the Mac mini, getting to the HDDs looks really easy. Same goes for the RAM. I can't find the mSATA for sure. Is it under the RAM sockets? Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Similar fanless cases seem to go for about $100. What's so special about this one that makes the case cost $600 instead? Reply
  • 8steve8 - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    I was under the impression that this motherboard/chipset doesn't do dhcp over hdmi/dp... making its use as an HTCP a bit questionable.

    am i wrong here?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    It does support HDCP over HDMI. Quite OK as a HTPC Reply
  • hardwickj - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    I hope you are right Ganesh :) I'm contemplating ordering the mobo in this thing for my long overdue HTPC update. Or I may go for the slightly more practical Intel DH77DF.

    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Desktop-Motherboard-LG...
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    A minor correction:

    DHCP: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Used by networks to auto-assign IP addresses and other information. It's how your laptop knows what IP, gateway, DNS to use when it connects to a wifi network, for example.

    HDCP: High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. DRM for your AV signal. Tries (and fails) to prevent anybody from intercepting the digital signal for recording purposes.

    If one of these were obscure, the confusion wouldn't be important. But both are ubiquitous technologies that are very likely operating in your home right now.
    Reply
  • DerPuppy - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    seeing as your reviewed this as an HTPC...I don't see why anand doesn't have an MPC-HC setup guide or a link for review methodology or just general knowledge purposes. Reply
  • ForeverAlone - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Awesome stuff. Pretty cheap too, in the scheme of things. Reply
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    I just played CounterStrike for a 2 hours from a 500GB USB 2.0 5400RPM Windows to Go Boot Drive

    It peaked at 55 watts loading maps

    gamerate was fine

    audio fine

    Internet Fine

    Graphics Fine

    All booting from an external USB 2 drive with Windows 8 - Windows to Go Installed

    VERY Fast O.S. from a slow portable Hard Drive

    Idles at 25 - 26 watts at desktop

    35 watt core i3 / 2.66Ghz
    4GB Crucial1.35 Volt DDR1600
    Gigabyte H61N-USB3
    60 watt Pico Power Supply
    Mini-Box M350 Case
    DLink Wireless N Dongle

    Total Cost Less than $350 and FAST ENOUGH for portable Windows (2 Go)
    Reply
  • dishayu - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    "A passively cooled solution with no moving parts meant that we had a virtually silent PC"

    Why virtually silent? Shouldn't it literally be silent? Like 0 dB?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Nope, we could clearly hear the noise from the hard drives. Reply
  • deltaTdawg - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    This article makes it clear that the author has very little experience reviewing fanless systems.

    From an engineering perspective, there are 3 elements of interest in the thermal system - the CPU block, the heatpipes, and the heatsinks.

    1. The author never looked at the thermal block, never took it off, never examined the thermal paste, never checked how flat or smooth the block surface was. Flatness and roughness play a HUGE role in cooling. Most importantly, thin metal mounting systems tend to flex when overtightened. This leads to a bowing of the CPU block, causing very poor contact with the CPU.

    2. These heatpipes are 6mm diameter. Heatpipes have thin walls, so if they are bent too tight they can crimp and severely impact the flow of evaporated fluid which actually dissipates the heat. Look at the gallery. See the heatpipes? In the 5th image especially it is clear how many bends and crimps exist. Each crimped point severely impacts cooling performance. To examine this, the author could use an IR thermometer to look at the heatpipe temperature before and after each crimp. The flaws would be immediately evident as the heatpipe would be significantly lower temperature after each crimp. This indicates the heat is not dissipating properly.

    3. Simple: Finned heatsinks are not ideal for convection cooling. Also, the mounting bracket does not apply even pressure, and no effort is made to distribute the heatpipe condenser evenly over the heatsink surface.

    From an engineering standpoint, this is a disaster. My conclusions are supported by the experimental findings in this review. A cooling system that causes an ULV CPU to throttle. Hmm. I have personal experience with completely passive systems that can easily cool a i7-3770K under full CPU+GPU load - under 80C.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    The point of the review's thermal performance section was to present to readers whether / how much the CPU gets throttled under different ambient temperatures and not meant to go into a thesis on how Aleutia could improve the thermal performance.

    Anyways, responding to your points:

    This is a loaner sample and meant to get back to the manufacturer in working condition. Not all systems that reach our labs can be subject to full teardowns. So, even assuming that I took out the thermal block and judged the smoothness of the block surface, those stats matter zilch to the reader once the thermal performance stats (how long it takes for the system to get throttled under load) is presented. FWIW, the loading process was repeated countless times before the system made it to the temperature chamber. In effect, taking out the thermal block and analyzing it would have probably made sense in a dedicated review of the Streacom cooling solution and not for the Relia itself.

    Btw, the i7-3770T is NOT officially a ULV CPU. It is just power optimized and operates at lower base clocks (2.5 GHz) instead of the default i7-3770 (3.4 GHz) to bring down the TDP from 77 W to 45 W.

    We would like to definitely hear about the components used in your passively cooled system. What is the size of the system, and how long does it operate at max performance without throttling and at what ambient temperature?
    Reply
  • deltaTdawg - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Fair enough.

    I didn't mean to come off aggressively, and I apologize if I did. Certainly there is a limit to what testing can be performed. The reason the cooling system matters, in my mind, is because it is performing so poorly. SPCR reviewed a unit from the OEM chassis provider - Streacom FC5 OD - using a 65W i3-2100 processor. In that review, the system didn't throttle; rather, it hit 74C (53C above ambient) on full CPU+GPU load. This is not terrific performance - but it is much better than the Aleutia system.

    So from that I can only conclude that Aleutia's particular design is what has negatively affected results - which is why I feel it is of interest for this review, not for a Streacom review. In my mind, a system whose cooling system can't handle a burn-in load is not fit to ship. Most vendors do a burn-in/stress test prior to shipping, to ensure the system components are not faulty. Aleutia obviously wasn't able to do this; so how can they ensure the components are stable? From an industrial market perspective, stability and performance in a hot environment should be the utmost concern.

    My system is 13"x10"x5" (WxDxH). It is running a Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI, an i5-3750K, 8Gb DDR3 1600MHz, and a 128GB Intel 520. It is using a custom chassis and custom cooling system, and has zero moving parts. Ambient is 18C. The system idles at 31C, and full CPU+GPU load stabilizes at 56C. Return to idle temps when the load is removed occurs in under 30 minutes.

    The system runs overclocked at 4.1GHz. Idles at 37C, full GPU+CPU load at 78C, which stabilized after 45 minutes and stayed stable thereafter. Return to idle temps occurs in under 30 minutes.

    Overclocking is limited by the motherboard's lack of voltage control. The hardware maintains stable temperatures around 80C at 4.3GHz - but the system is not stable. I will be testing next with the Asus P8Z77i motherboard, which is overclocker friendly.

    One last question: Why did you unlink the gallery? And why, if you find the gallery link (http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2429) did you remove all the inside photos? This seems to come right on the heels of my remarks on their cooling system.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    The Streacom FC5 OD is a uATX chassis while this one is mITX. I guess the larger surface area of the FC5 OD will definitely contribute to better cooling.

    Streacom is planning to introduce a modified version of this chassis in the market as the FC2 (with an open backplate, obviously). I am looking forward to someone making a better performing system with the FC2 (not that I am defending Aleutia here, but I just want to see how much of the issue is with Streacom rather than Aleutia).

    Your system definitely sounds interesting and I am sure readers would appreciate some pictures of the internals to understand how to design their own passively cooled systems.

    Btw, the gallery is still there in the piece and was never 'unlinked'. The URL you are referring to:

    http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2429 : This is from the previous pipeline piece where I covered the launch of the Relia.

    The inside photos are in this gallery:

    http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2473
    Reply
  • deltaTdawg - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Yeah, sorry about that. That's what happens when you sit down at the computer before you have your morning coffee :)

    Interestingly, the chassis dimensions are not really relevant. What actually matters for heat dissipation is the heat sink surface area. I can't account for the size of the fins, but the mounted surface area on the two systems is virtually identical, as the FC5 uses only one heatsink to dissipate, whereas this unit uses both. The FC5 heatsink spans 30.2 square inches, while the Relia spans 31 square inches.

    I would love to show off my system. However, it's a near-launch unreleased product, so I can't share photos online yet. I'll email you separately, if you're interested. Suffice to say, silent cooling like I've described is challenging, if not impossible, to achieve with consumer parts. But it's a real passion for me, so I'd be happy to continue the conversation by email.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Sure, feel free to send over the details to my e-mail ID (can be got from the author by-line). I can keep it under wraps till launch. Reply
  • zilexa - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Seriously?? Who the HELL is going to spend >600 on this device?
    People who do that clearly do not have a clue what to do with their money.. *sigh*

    I love the fact it uses mSATA and has enough options to connect. But as HTPC, just buy a Zotac AD12 or AD06 or similar and you are done (preferrably the AMD option since they support out-of-order execution and feel faster then the Atoms, and have better graphics built in).

    There is absolutely no use for a Core i7 in a HTPC. It doesn't have a dedicated GPU so it is also not meant for gaming. This thing is really to shake money out of peoples pocket.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Hmm.. This is an 'enterprise' play. You pay for quality and support too.

    I can't find any other pre-built PC with similar configuration for a lower price (read, fanless mITX with dual GbE and i7- class processor). People looking for industrial PCs will know the value :)

    Btw, usage as a HTPC is just an additional application. There are use-cases such as hotel room TVs and signage applications where reliability is key and the benchmarks I have presented in the review are helpful.

    Would I recommend this for the standard living room HTPC? Probably not.. The target market, as I explained in the final section, is something different.
    Reply
  • Sikku - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Does this system use a PicoPSU??
    Would like to see reviews of this type of PSU...
    Reply
  • Sikku - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    http://www.mini-box.com/DC-DC Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    The DQ77KB mITX board has a DC input (mentioned in the review). So, only a AC - DC adapter is needed and no explicit PSU.

    We have the Streacom Nano150 in-house for use in our upcoming HTPC testbed. It looks very similar to the pico PSU that you have linked below.
    Reply
  • Sikku - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Ok.. Waiting for that review.. :) Reply
  • Hood6558 - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    I don't get it, what's the point of buying a fast CPU installed in a case that takes it to max temp in 3 minutes under any kind of load, and then throttles it back to a lousy 900 MHz? This is "industrial" design? I wonder how long the CPU actually survives under that kind of stress. My guess is a lot of heat-related failures are in the near future of anyone foolish enough to buy one of these somewhat expensive doorstops. Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    It really depends on the workloads. I doubt users purchasing this unit are going to run Prime 95 + Furmark as their daily workload 24 x 7. Reply
  • Rollo Thomasi - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    But then what is the point of an i7 if you are not going to use it?

    Why not go for a cheaper cooler running CPU?

    The only point would be if you have a need to do a lot of short intensive bursts Wright? Then the CPU could work at top speed without throtteling.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    And I shall buy one to make a bad-ass wifi AP & caching server (when I get the time).

    Lowest-end i3, an old SSD,and Squid running on some linux distro, and that should do the trick I reckon. I also have a 3x3 MIMO Card lying around so would likely install a 3rd antenna.

    With my ISP now 100M/10M, I've been reluctant to try this without dual GigE ports, and a completely passive cooling solution, AND without looking like an eye sore in the living room.

    But the price man...
    Reply

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